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8yo DS can't or won't sleep I cancel sleepover ?

(10 Posts)
RainingDay Mon 21-Nov-16 10:54:57

As the title says my 8yo DS rarely sleeps through and with the bad weather recently, he is waking up most nights, getting upset and scared. He can not fall back to sleep unless he stays in my bed and I stay awake until he falls asleep.

I am so tired, I need more sleep.

He has no special needs. He has never slept on his own in any bedroom and if his sibling who shares a room with DS falls asleep before DS does, DS gets upset and comes to looks for me then too.

I have him reading books before bed, thinking good thoughts, night light and dreamcatcher. No warm drinks, else DS will wake up more often for a wee.

Any ideas on getting DS to stay asleep ?

Also he is meant to be doing a sleepover after Christmas but if I can not stop him overreacting and not sleeping, I guess I am going to have to cancel this. DS is very upset that I might cancel the sleepover but if he is so upset and scared at home, and on occasions wets himself he is so frightened, I can hardly send him away with near stranger's to look after him, can I ?

user1477282676 Mon 21-Nov-16 11:17:45

He definitely doesn't sound ready for a sleepover. My DD is 8 and only just having the odd sleepover as she's stopped waking up looking for me now. But I wouldn';t have sent her off somewhere else whilst she was still waking. It's a recipe for disaster and late night phonecalls.

RainingDay Mon 21-Nov-16 11:41:50

Any suggestions on getting him to sleep through ?

RainingDay Mon 21-Nov-16 14:54:02


jellyrolly Mon 21-Nov-16 16:43:47

I think there are a lot of control issues arising from this level of anxiety for your son. It's a long time to be consistently upset about the dark/being alone/bedtime/dreams/nightmares so it looks like a real anxiety issue rather than manipulation. It can therefore help to give more control to a child who is suffering from anxiety as it can lessen it. I would try some practical things like asking him what he needs to make a bed, letting him choose bedding/certain clothes/even snacks or games if he wants, anything he likes, and letting him lead you around the house to show you where he would make a bed. If this is scary for him, he could start by making beds for toys. I would observe this closely to see what triggers there are, what exactly is going on when the anxiety increases - is it a place, dark, temperature etc. A lot of young children find a bed a scary place and are more comfortable in the bottom of a wardrobe or just on the floor. If there is any kind of creative process he enjoys, you could work some stuff out doing that i.e. not verbally. My son used to like a sandbox and it was very revealing in terms of areas of fear. He might prefer drawing or using toys. If you can get him to act out night time in a detached way, with a toy or drawing a story, you might be able to start unpicking it.

On another note, you might be surprised that he is ok at a sleepover. It's also a good place to start looking into what is underlying his anxiety, could you 'act out' the sleepover and see what comes up?

Starlight2345 Mon 21-Nov-16 16:55:05

My DS is not a great sleeper..However he has a list of rules he can disturb me for

A bad dream he can't cope with
He is poorly
He has a wet bed ( rare)

Anything else he needs to work out how to cope with.

He woke me at 3.30 to tell me he had a bad dream last night... However he wasn't really upset so got sent back to bed and was told to cuddle his teddy.

I would take the pressure of sleeping..Tell him it is fine if he can't sleep to lie in bed and rest... He needs to learn to get to sleep himself.. If he gets up because brother has fell asleep..Send back to bed.

I think if an 8 year old is continually disturbing you it is time to get tough.. though he has learnt he doesn't deal with this stuff his mum does.

I would drop any discussion of the sleepover for now... see if things imrpoved

RainingDay Mon 21-Nov-16 18:27:17

I have talked to DS about his sleep many, many times.
He doesn't care where he sleeps and often swaps rooms and beds, depending on who is awake in the house.

He doesn't like the dark but we leave a night light on already. I have already explained he can read if he isn't ready yo sleep again but he is genuinally scared of nothing/everything.

He thinks he will be got by monsters but nothing specific just a feeling he has. We have previouslunch asked him to draw his fear and tried a worry box and a set worry time...but nothing changes at night and I am so tired.

RainingDay Mon 21-Nov-16 20:55:46

DH had another chat with DS and repeated that he has to stay I his own bed and go back to sleep. Let's see what happens tonight.

passingthrough1 Tue 22-Nov-16 09:33:25

We used to listen to stories on tapes when we were young. We'd put a cassette tape on as soon as we went to bed and listen to the story until we fell asleep, it would carry on playing in the background (kind of like white noise I guess). I think that worked well because we enjoyed being in bed (for the story) and it carried on playing until we were in a deeper sleep (so if I woke up in a panic after 10 mins for instance I wouldn't wake up to silence and would drift back off). We could always get up and turn it round if we woke up and wanted more.
I think my brogher listed to tapes every night until he was a teenager.

Not sure what modern day equivalent would be but there must be one! Anyway, I always found that reassuring.

Floggingmolly Tue 22-Nov-16 09:39:01

Don't send him for a sleepover, he is nowhere near ready. I had monumental drama from one of dd's friends some years ago at a birthday sleepover, culminating in her demanding to go home at 3am.
I rang her Mum, (I had NO ntention of driving her myself) and she was totally unsurprised and breezily announced "oh, she often does this". angry. None of her friends were sad to see her go...

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